2644 Webpv Bleriot Model 1 15 05 24

The model boasts a six-foot wingspan, moveable control surfaces and a working electric motor to spin the propeller.

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A 1911 model aircraft used to deliver lectures to the world’s earliest aviators is to go on sale at Donley Auctions in Illinois on May 19 with a $15,000-$25,000 estimate.

The model of a Blériot XI was built by Fuad Jerwan, a mechanic at the Moisant School of Aviation in New York. Boasting a six-foot wingspan and working electric motor to spin the propeller, it was used by his brother Shakir Jerwan – chief pilot and instructor at the school – to deliver lectures on the ‘art of flying’ to the earliest aviators. One of those students was Harriet Quimby, the first licensed female pilot in the US.

With its original wing, tail and rudder fabric intact, the auction house says the model could be the earliest surviving aeronautical training model in existence.

2644 Webpv Bleriot Model 2 15 05 24

The model’s original wing, tail and rudder fabric are all intact.

The Blériot XI, piloted by Louis Blériot, was the first heavier-than-air aircraft to fly across the English Channel in 1909. Flying between Calais and Dover in 36 minutes, 30 seconds, the accomplishment made Blériot an instant celebrity in the UK and was perfect marketing for his aircraft which was produced for competition, training and then military purposes in the First World War. Two restored examples exist which are thought to be the oldest flyable aircraft in the world.

"This model presents a truly unique opportunity for collectors and aviation enthusiasts," said Randy Donley, auctioneer and owner of Donley Auctions. "Shakir Jerwan’s use of this model for educating some of the world's first pilots, including First World War pilots, is a fascinating piece of aviation history."

The model, which is in "remarkable condition for its age" is consigned from private collector Tom Heitzman.